Lawmakers in India Considering New Ban on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency: Report

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Lawmakers in India are planning to introduce a bill that aims to ban Bitcoin and other crypto assets while seeking to create the country’s official digital currency.

The Lok Sabha, the lower chamber of India’s bicameral parliament, will tackle the passing of a legislative proposal dubbed “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021” in its fifth session which commenced on January 29th.

According to the Lok Sabha bulletin posted on Friday, the bill seeks to outlaw private cryptocurrencies in India and provide exemptions only for coins that promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

The bill also moves to create a facilitative framework in an effort to develop an official digital currency that will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

If the bill is approved, India will be the only major economic player in Asia that prohibits private cryptocurrencies instead of regulating the nascent sector.

India has a history of taking a strong stance against cryptocurrencies. In 2018, the RBI issued a ban against crypto-related transactions, which prohibits commercial banks from providing banking services to crypto exchanges and other financial institutions that interface with digital assets.

The nation’s Supreme Court overturned the policy in March 2020, deeming it unconstitutional.

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